Saturday, December 24, 2011

Coke and Cookies


It's Christmas Eve and at the time Santa Claus is getting ready for that nightly ride through the world giving little boys and girls their presents.  According to this ad he'll be bringing Coke along to stave of the inevitable tiredness that comes from traveling all over the world in one night.  Few people realize that the jolly Santa wearing a red outfit was given to us by the Coca Cola company in their ad campaigns in the 1930's.  He wasn't the only one created out of an ad campaign.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Give Me a Ten High


I'm wondering if the bellhop in this ad is working at some swank hotel or just insists on dressing like he's in the Imperial German Army.  I'm rusty on my Waffenfarbe or service colors but white collar and cuffs I think designated the baggage train troops which would be apropo since he is a bellhop.  The 1930's and 40's saw a proliferation of these "storyline" ads which sometimes could have a comic book appearance or at others is like this ad.  Gentleman has a great day at the fair, asks the bellhop what's to drink around here.  Bellhop suggests Ten High Whiskey, gentleman is pleasantly surprised and gives bellhop a great tip.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Amish Style Apple Sausage Stuffing


This recipe was clipped from a newspaper back in the 40's by my grandmother.  It sat in her recipe box until finally coming into my possession after my mom's death in 2006.  I've revived it from the archives of the past since then and enjoys a place at the feast every Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sunday Stealing: Satan's Family History MEME

Today we ripped off a blogger and blog called BlueLifeMemories. It's long so we will do it in two parts. She states she stole it from a friend, but did not say which friend. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Take the time to comment on other player's posts. It's a great way to make new friends! Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!


Sunday Stealing: The Blue Memory Meme, Part Two

Cheers to all of us thieves!

26) Are you happy with the person you've become?
         Sometimes, I still look in the mirror and realize there are things I can change about myself to make me better
27) What's a sound you hate; sound you love?
         Leaf Blowers, I'm not telling
28) What's your biggest "what if"?
        I won the lottery

29) Do you believe in ghosts?
        Yes
30) How about aliens?
        Yeppers
31) What is the single best decision you have made in your life so far?
         Asking my wife to marry me, it's been almost 5 years now I never regretted it
32) What's the worst place you have ever been to?
          Sarajevo, Bosnia during the Civil War in the 90's
33) Can insanity bring on more creativity?
           Most creative people are insane so yes

34) Most attractive actor of your opposite gender?
           Anne Hathaway
35) To you, what is the meaning of life?
         Influencing others in a positive way
36) Define “Art”.
          Art lacks definition due to it's subjective nature
37) Do you believe in luck?
          Somewhat
38) In your opinion, what makes a great relationship?
        Friendship, besides being husband and wife we are best friends.  I honestly never understood women who "Just want to be friends".
39) What's a song that always makes you happy when you hear it?
         There's alot but as of late it has to be Minor Swing by Django Reinhardt
40) Where were you yesterday?
         CVS to buy some Hav-a-Tampa Cigars and Publix for sundries
41) What's the worst injury you've ever had?
         I was stabbed over a hand of Poker
42) Do you have any obsessions right now?
         Yeah moving into an apartment
43) What's up?
         The opposite of down
44) Ever had a rumor spread about you?
          ALL.THE.FREAKIN.TIME.
45) Do you believe in real magic?
         Maybe, but it's not for us mere mortals to wield it
46) Do you ever hold grudges against people who have done you wrong?
        Yes I have a couple
47) What's your favorite (non-pet) animal?
        Wren Tigerian... hes a Tigard
48) What is your secret weapon to get people to like you?
        I don't need one, either you like me or you don't
49) Where is your best friend?
        San Diego but he's leaving next week for Troy, Pa to work with an oil company
50) What do you think is Satan's last name?
        Cipher... as in Luis Cipher

Behind the Scenes...

So what really happened you may inquire, to cause me to abandon the blog for so long?  Well as you may remember, I was transitioning from Entrecard to Project Wonderful.  I had just completed a spiffing month with over 3,000 pageviews and having reached my wits end when it came to server issues with Entrecard I was ready for a change.  That was early November.  At the same time I was in the last few weeks of my wife's visa process and I was required to concentrate more and more on that and the blog started suffering.  After I transitioned to Project Wonderful I enjoyed a few days of great pageview numbers but I noticed an inconsistency in that Analytics would count 100+ pageviews but Project wonderful would count just 11.  Honestly I don't know what the issue is with their system of counting but I realized early on I made a huge mistake in canceling Entrecard. 

After that I made a few bad decisions with regards to the blog and readership dropped off with the resultant crash in Pageviews.  In one week I went from a solid 150/day to just 12.  About this time I was readying for my wife's flight over to the USA and, consciously or subconsciously, I just shelved the blog in a fit of depression over what had happened.  I spent the last month doing nothing with it but I am ready to pick up the banner again.  On a positive note I have page rank now and that is generating some search traffic, however I am still fighting with Entrecard to get my blog listed again.  In the meantime, Project (not so) Wonderful has delisted my blog due to low performance. 

I'm not giving up on either one, I will e-mail Entrecard every damn day if I that's what it takes to get them to approve my blog again.  In the meantime I will get back into the flow of writing articles and eventually, traffic will take care of itself.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday, Just Find BrSpiritus Already!

Prepping the Turkey

We have Flames!

Ready for Smoking

Isn't she beautiful?

Laid out for dinner

Going for a walk after dinner
First Thanksgiving in the USA for my wife

Yeah I know it's been awhile since Thanksgiving and I just never seem to have enough time lately.  That coupled with sharing the computer with my wife has left me in the lurch trying to get work done on the blog.  I'm fixin' to get going with it again soon though.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Log Cabin Saves a Marriage!


Lan sake?  Were they still using such archaic expressions in the late '30's?  Evidently his daddy was addicted to pancakes too.  Perhaps it was Ernest McGroucher from this earlier Pillsbury Ad.  Yes the mania of pancake madness runs in families but here we see how pancakes are just a gateway drug to some thing more sinister, more insidious... Syrup.  Yes, this Aunt Jenny Lookalike (or perhaps it is Aunt Jenny of Spry fame) is here pushing Log Cabin Syrup on unsuspecting family members.  It's all a pyramid scheme you know.  Get people hooked then they buy from you and get others hooked, quite a lucrative business model.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Stealing, The Big Guy is Back Meme

Today we ripped off a blogger named Firecat from the blog Party in My Head. He doesn't state where he got it. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Take the time to comment on other player's posts. It's a great way to make new friends! Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!




Sunday Stealing: The Bud is Back Meme

Cheers to all of us thieves!


1. Why did you sign up for writing your blog?
        Because I like history
2. Why did you choose your blog's name? What does it mean?
         Ummm... Pretty self explanatory
3. Do you ever had another blog?
        Did you ever had an engrish class?  Yes, way back in the day (1991-1995) I was SysOp of the Ghosts In Gray BBS and from 2007-2008 I ran the Jimmy Buffet Living Blog.
4. What do you do online when you're not on your blog?
        Read the Fedora Lounge Message board
5. How about when you're not on the computer?
         Spend time with family
6. What do you wish people who read your blog knew about you?
        That I have been a student of history for about 30 years now
7. What is your favorite community in the blogosphere?
         Don't participate
8. What is your philosophy on your blog layout?
         Taoist
9. Tell me about your picture you use to represent you on your blog.
         It's from a 1903 postcard of Main St. in the Springfield section of Jacksonville, Fl.
10. Pick 3 random blogs from your blogroll and tell us about them.
          I don't really blogroll, Everyday Fish Phil is my wife's visa journey blog and Kitchen Retro is a blog very much like my own focusing on vintage ads.
11. What features do you think your blog should have that it doesn't currently?
        Followers and Pageviews
12. What do you consider the 10 most "telling" interests that we would infer from what you blog persona?
         Command of the English language
13. Do you have any unique interests that you have never shared before? What are they?
          Yes I hunt fibbets
14. The best thing about blogging is all of the friends that you make, Beside from those folks, do you think your blog has fans?
          I have few followers but few people who comment on a regular basis so no large fanbase just yet
15. What's your current obsession? What about it captures your imagination?
           Dressing like an extra from Boardwalk Empire
16. What are you glad you did but haven't really had a chance to post about?
           I dunno
17. How many people that first became a blog friend, have you met face to face?
         None
18. What don't you talk about here, either because it's too personal or because you don't have the energy?
         If I don't talk about it on the blog why am I going to tell you?
19. What's a question that you'd love to answer?
         How about "What do think sets you apart from everyone else?"
20. Have you ever lost a blogging friendship and regretted it?
        Nope
21. Have you ever lost a blogging friendship and thought, “Was that overdue!”
        Nope

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Where's BrSpiritus?


I tell you it has been a crazy last couple of weeks and I realize that I have been away from writing for some time now.  First it was the run up to my wife's flight over here to the USA and I can say she arrived safely.  I spent most of my time with her, helping her to adjust to the the USA and we went out clothes shopping as North Florida Fall is here and her clothes are not warm enough to cope.  I was just enjoying spending time with her for the first time in over 1 1/2 years so, understandably, the blog suffered.

About the time my wife finally was getting settled Thanksgiving arrived, and with it a plethora of cooking including a 12lb Amish raised turkey smoked on the grill and a vintage recipe for Amish Apple-Sausage stuffing.  It was the best Thanksgiving we have had in a long time and I'm so happy my wife was able to share it with us.  Today we will be getting into the overhead in the garage and taking down the boxes of Christmas decorations.  I don't know if we'll get around to decorating today but we'll certainly get through arranging all the decorations and seeing what still works after years of storage.

I will get back to writing on Monday and I apologize for getting away from the blog for so long.  It was never my intention to leave it in the lurch but on the flipside I hope you can understand that family take precedence, especially when you have been apart for so long.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Special Edition: 5 Years of Love


I never ceases to surprise me how fast time moves on.  By the time my wife gets to read this, she will be in the USA after over a year and a half of waiting for her Visa to be approved.  Truly though is the amazing fact that as of today my wife and I have known each other for 5 years now.  We met back in 2006 on MySpace, the now defunct social network that was all the rage back then.  I had a friend of mine who was sharing my apartment at the time and trying to talk me into going to the Philippines.  I guess to spice up the offer he told me to go to MySpace and just look for girls in Cebu which is what I was doing at the time.  I had a few fits and starts with different girls then one day I found this one.  She interested me because there was no town listed where she was from but I saw she had worked in Davao so that was where I assumed she lived.  I had a bad taste in my mouth when it came to Davao, mostly because of the martial law that was in place there a few years back, however I took the chance and sent the friend request anyway.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sunday Stealing: The Nightmare Before Monday

Today we ripped off a blogger named Tense Teacher from the blog Tense for a Reason. It's long so we'll do it in two parts. She stole it from The Coffee Table. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Take the time to comment on other player's posts. It's a great way to make new friends! Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!


Sunday Stealing: The Madness Meme, Part 2

Cheers to all of us thieves!

23. Do you ever walk around the house naked?
      No, the neighbors would complain if I did.
 24. If you were an animal what would you be? Why?
     A Wolf.  I've always liked wolves and my nickname up in my job in Alaska is Nightwolf which I might add, was given to me without my input lol.
25. Hair color you like on someone you’re dating?
     Black
26. If suffering an injury, would you rather be left blind or deaf?
     Deaf, if I couldn't hear at least I could still drive
27. Do you have any special talents?
     Not that I know of... maybe some X rated ones lol
28. What do you do as soon as you walk in the house?
      Take a leak
29. Do you like horror or comedy?
     Horror and Comedy all in one.
30. Are you missing anyone?
     Definitely my wife but I get to see her again for the first time in over a year and a half on Wednesday
31. Where do you want to live when you are old?
      Maybe the Philippines
32. Who is the person you can count on the most?
     My wife, she's always there when I need her to be.
33. If you could date any celebrity past or present, who would it be?
    Anne Hathaway
34. What did you dream last night?
     I don't remember, I was tired and fell asleep like I was clubbed.
35. What is your favorite sport to watch?
     Football, Jacksonville Jaguars or the Baltimore Ravens
36. Are you named after anyone?
      Louis for my father (and grandfather and great grandfather) and Alexander for Alexander Graham Bell.
37. What is your favorite alcoholic drink?
     Aviation Cocktail or a Classic Martini
38. Non alcoholic drink?
     Water
39. Have you ever been in love?
       A few times, but never like I am with my wife.
40. Do you sing in the shower?
      No
41. Have you ever been arrested?
      Yes, I was falsely accused of several charges by my stepfather and could have gone to prison for 15 years.  All charges were dropped.
 42. What is your favorite Holiday?
        Halloween
43. Would you ever get plastic surgery?
       Yes, lipo to get rid of my effen gut.
44. Have you ever caught a fish?
       Yes, I've been trout fishing many times.

It's Not Polite To Point


Hawk lady wants you to join the Diplomat Corps!  Or is it owl lady?  Perhaps it's the goddess Athena come down from Mt. Olympus to help sell cheap cigars.  I don't care how you look at it this is just another ridiculous ad from the 1970's.  White Owls were always cheap machine made cigars, but at least before the Cuban Embargo they were made of Cuban tobacco.  By this point in time they were being manufactured with floor sweepings from the Dominican Republic and I don't think anyone smoked them as cigars, instead pulling out the filler and using the wrapper to make a blunt. 

Eventually White Owl bowed to the drug culture and started flavoring their cigars with such tasty treats as Grape, Chocolate and Strawberry... enough to make you want to vomit.  I myself smoke machine made cigars from time to time, but I never stoop so low as to smoke a White Owl.  I prefer to stay with what my grandfather smoked, mainly Dutch Masters with a Claro wrapper, but it's a once in a blue moon kind of fetish for me.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pick a Peck of Pick's Soda


It struck me the other day that I keep posting alcohol ads on Fridays but for a rather large chunk of the time period I cover on my blog (1900-1950), there was Prohibition.  The Volstead Act became law on Jan 1st 1920 and lasted until 1932 when it was repealed.  It is a lesson to the American people on just what happens when you try to legislate morality, or push your person view on what is "healthy" on the rest of the people.  Banning the sale of alcohol was heralded as the saving of our age, no more would drunkenness be a societal problem.  But as always happens with anything banned, people naturally seek it out for the thrill of "breaking the law".  Drunkenness actually increased by as much as tenfold over what it was pre-prohibition.  This also gave rise to the Gangster era, on punctuated with soaring crime and horrible murders. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Personal Day...

I'm taking a day off, I've been so wrapped up in helping my wife with last minute preparations before she flys to the USA next week that I've just not been in the mood to write or do anything else.  Rather than bore you with half-assed articles I just want to take a day off and start writing again on Friday.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pagerank!

If you scroll all the way down to the bottom of the blog you'll see Google assigned me a pagerank of 2.  I wasn't really expecting this for a couple of months yet.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wordless Wednesday, Pumpkin Pie

The First Pumpkin Pie of 2011

Sartorial Guidance

I routinely go through YouTube just playing videos for music to listen to while I write articles.  Mostly Django Reinhardt, 20's Jazz and 30's Swing.  Whilst going through I found this video:






Now she claims to be giving sartorial advice on how to dress, and somehow this video turned up as part of 1920's videos.  Please save me from modern fashion!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Colonial Peanut Soup


It's been chilly down here lately... well as chilly as it gets in North Florida at this time of year. I was looking for something different to have for dinner one night.  I knew I wanted soup but I just wasn't in the mood for Tomato or Mushroom soup and it's not quite chicken soup weather yet.  So it was off to an old standby, Peanut Soup.  Peanut Soup has been a staple in the US since colonial times but it's popularity waned in the late 20th Century except in areas where peanuts are a dominant crop (Georgia and especially Virginia).  This recipe is from an old Williamsburg recipe and has gone unchanged since Colonial times.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Hurry Up Breakfast

Post Toasties 1912

"It's Post Toasties dear, don't you want to have your breakfast before leaving?"  "Yes buttercup, but do look at time.  I'm never going to catch that train to New York before I sail to England on the Titanic.  Marvelous ship, I do wish I was able to sail on her maiden voyage."  Yes Post Toasties... The memory lingers.  What sort of catch phrase is that?  I don't want my breakfast haunting me all day, thank you very much.  I prefer to eat it and get on with the day's activities.  And how exactly does it linger?  Does it feel like you ate a brick?  Do you need some Sal Hepatica to move that mass of flattened corn along?  Or perhaps it just keeps "repeating", a quaint term my grandmother used to use when she kept burping.  Of course, as with many food ads from the early 1900's. there's the serving suggestion.   

Take with Milk or Cream and Sugar (if desired).

Not much for low fat diets back then were they?  I also love how this sugar is optional, what if I just want sugar and no milk or cream?  Or perhaps grape juice? (Laugh if you want to, but I knew a vegan that ate his cereal this way.)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Bacchanalia of Bacchus


Sometimes I think that my friend Lidian over at Kitchen Retro and I are in a contest for who can find the the most ridiculous piece of Vintage Advertising.  Here's one specifically for you Lidian, Bacchus Cologne from 1970.  Yes it's the secret weapon of the Roman army, by smelling like a French Whorehouse Rome was able to cower their enemies into submission with an olfactory assault that apparently brought on an orgasmic orgy of whore bathing in cheap cologne.  Men were apoplectic with joy as they doused themselves with a chemtastic chemical concoction and upon smelling the waft in the air women were overcome with sexual energy that led to an excessive amount of carnal frivolity.  Whilst the denizens of the town were reveling in wanton caresses, the Roman army was able to move in and capture the ramparts thus ending the siege... Roma Victor!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Miller High Life Redux

1952 Miller High Life

I don't really even have to say too much about this ad.  It's from the same series as the other Miller Ad I posted a couple weeks ago and I haven't changed my mind about it.  The designers were definitely high when they made it.  What are your thoughts about this ad?  Leave me a comment below and let your voice be heard!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pancake Madness

1928 Pillsbury Pancake Mix

Besides doing one good turn a day, Ernest McGroucher loves his pancakes.  It's a serious addiction, one that has obviously disrupted his family life.  His wife left him and married the milkman and now poor Ernest has to keep his daughter drugged so she'll keep making pancakes and not run away too.  As with most addictions, Ernest now deals on the side to support it.  Yes, he lures his bachelor friends into the house and slyly offers them pancakes while his Quaalude ridden daughter looks on with vapid eyes and plastic smile.  It's ok, we all know you're crying on the inside because of having to make pancakes all day.  After introducing his friends to the pleasures of Pillsbury Pancakes, they show their gratitude... by buying more pancakes.  It's a vicious cycle, this pancake addiction, one that ensures family life will never be the same again once it invades the home.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tabasco Sauce

1958 Tabasco Ad

I was looking in Google Analytics at search terms that brought people to my site and I noticed a number of Tabasco related inquiries.  Hmm interesting.  I don't think I talked too much about Tabasco except early on when I wrote the recipes for the Creole Collard Greens but I can take a minute now and speak about it.  Personally I love Tabasco, I put it on just about everything... well not ice cream surely but you get the point.  I have to buy it in the enormous food service size bottles though.  I'm not much of a pepper head when it comes to hot sauce.  Habanero peppers give me the hiccups and I think people who are eating Ghost Chilies are out of the heads.  It's a condiment, plain and simple and I use it to add zest to my food not dominate the flavor. 

Tabasco has been around since the late 1860's when Mr McIlhenny came back to his Avery Island home to find it completely destroyed by invading Yankees.  Fortunately he discovered the place had become overrun with Tabasco peppers, seeds of which a friend had originally brought back from Mexico after the Mexican War in the 1840's.  McIlhenny came up with the idea of macerating the ripe peppers with Avery Island sea salt and vinegar and letting them age in used whiskey barrels and thus Tabasco Sauce was born.  It gained popularity in the US after being featured in the Colombian exposition in the 1880's but it really didn't become a household item outside Louisiana until the 1950's when this ad was made.  People were still rather timid about spicy food back then as both recipes call for a whopping 1/2tsp of Tabasco, but dad remembers his father using it in many dishes back when he was a kid. 

More recently Tabasco introduced their new flavors starting out with a mild Jalapeno Sauce in the 90's and eventually adding Garlic, Habanero and Smoked Chipotle.  The nutritional info is about the same no matter what sauce you buy, no calories, no carbs and around 35mg Sodium per teaspoon.  There are many other hot sauces out there and I've tried many of them, but non can replace the original Tabasco.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Piccadilly Circus Fish n' Chips

 Happy Halloween everyone!

My uncle was once married to an English lady, so I have some English cousins.  Their Grandfather, as it turns out, used to sell Fish n' Chips before the war in the 1930's.  I once asked him to share his recipe with me but even in his old age he kept the recipe close to his chest.  I loved him anyway, he was a right old English gentleman and veteran of the war in North Africa.  He passed away 7 years ago but before he did he instructed my aunt to pass on the recipe.  So needless to say I was very happy to finally discover what his secret was all these years ago.


1930's Fish and Chips

1.5-2lbs firm white fish Cod works best) cut into manageable pieces

Batter
1 1/4C Flour, sifted
1tsp Salt
1 Egg Yolk (reserve egg white)
1 1/4C Newcastle Brown Ale (a little less than 1 bottle)
1T Oil

Coating
1C Flour, sifted
1/2tsp salt
1/2tsp pepper
1/8tsp each Onion Powder, Garlic Powder and Sweet Paprika

Tartar Sauce
1/4C Mayonaise
2T Sweet Pickle Relish
2tsp Lemon Juice
1/8tsp Paprika

Instructions:  Get your oil going early as it takes a long time to get it hot.  You'll be deep frying, use whatever method suits you, we have a pot with a wire basket.  Don't fill the pot more than halfway with oil or it will overflow the pot.  You want the oil to be 375°, you can use any oil you wish but Peanut or Canola have the highest smoke points and are more suited to high temperature deep frying.  While the oil is slowly heating mix together the batter ingredients and set aside for 30 minutes to rise.  Whisk or sift together the coating in a separate bowl.  Take the reserved egg white and whisk until you have stiff peaks, fold it into the batter until blended.  Take a jelly roll pan and line it with newspaper or paper bags and turn your oven on to 250°.  Fry your chips first, if you're using fresh potatoes then wash and dry them, cut into wedges and deep fry until golden brown.  dump them onto the paper lined jelly roll pan and place in oven to keep warm.  Let your oil recover temperature back to 375° between batches.  Make sure you fish is dry then coat it with the flour mixture before dipping into the batter.  Gently place in oil and fry until golden brown.  When one side is done turn the fish over to cook the other side.  Drain and place in over with fries until all pieces are done. Serve with tartar sauce and malt vinegar.

Unfortunately I didn't have any newspapers laying around to wrap the fish and chips in when I took the picture. Don't worry about lead in newspaper ink, it's been removed since the late 70's and all newsprint inks today are soy based and totally harmless. And yes I'm being very specific about using Newcastle as that is what the recipe calls for.  If you try using Guiness or any dark beer it will come out too dark after cooking, likewise if you go cheap and use Miller or Budwiser expect a crappy tasting end result.  Newscastle is available for around $6.99/6pk here in Florida and I'm pretty sure you can get it just about anywhere.  In a pinch you can substitute Bass ale or any English style brown ale.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Pain of Pyrene

1920 Pyrene Fire Extinguishers

It's Saturday, time to kick back, relax and take some time away from chasing down vintage recipes and advertisements.  Since I'm in such a goofy mood (too many Newcastle Ales will do that to you) I decided to be silly today.  No, really silly, like this ad.  Look at this ad and you can easily imagine the conversation... "See here Margaret, I could just go over there and lend the fire brigade a hand with my Pyrene fire extinguisher, it wouldn't take but a moment."  Alright, so that's not really the conversation, the ad is a bit more boring and dry in it's text.  The husband is quoting that he can sleep well in a Pullman Berth knowing the family has a Pyrene fire extinguisher at home.  I suppose the risk of fire in the home was ever present back then (this ad is from 1920) because most homes were not electrified yet and used a combination of city gas and kerosene lamps to light the home.

So what is a Pyrene Fire Extinguisher you ask?  Well you've come to the right place if you want to learn all about early 20th Century firefighting techniques.  Of course the oldest type of fire extinguisher is the big brass and copper "Soda Water" types, these have been around since the early 1800's at least.  Pyrene came around in 1910 and made use of Carbon Tetrachloride to fight fires by smothering them.  Fantastic, we can either burn to death or choke on a cloud of noxious chemical fumes, what were they thinking?  CT was the favorite of fire companies until 1950 when it was pulled from the market.

This is for sale online

See, Carbon Tetrachloride has 2 nasty side effects, the first being that is poisonous when inhaled, but the second is more insidious and was discovered later when they started marketing these "Fire Grenades" I have pictured here.  The grenade was hurled at the base of the fire thereby choking it out, but if the fire was hot enough it would convert the CT into Phosgene Gas.  Yeah go Google that one and discover that Phosgene was a popular compound used by the German army in The Great War (WWI) as a chemical warfare agent.  Nasty stuff really as it turns your lungs to green goop and then you vomit them up before dieing.
Red Comet Fire Grenade

So, where was I?  Ah yes, CT Pyrene fire extinguishers, not the more brilliant idea but I'm sure that they prevented some fires in the 40 some odd years that it was used as a fire suppressant.  You can still find these old extinguishers online and the fire grenades show up from time to time as well.  Handle them with caution as exposure to Carbon Tetrachloride affects the Liver and Kidneys leading to Cancer and failure of said organs.  As an interesting side note, a 2008 study found that cleaning agents containing bleach have an unsafe amount of Carbon Tetrachloride in them due to the bleach reacting with soap in the cleansers.  Want to know a safer and more environmentally safe way of cleaning your home?  Read my Sunday article to find out!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ad: National Premuim Beer

1950 National Premium

Maryland used to be known as the "Land of gracious living", a tagline used extensively by National Premium brewing company.  I remember when the National Premium brewery was still in operation down on Hollins Ferry Rd. It was always a treat to drive by an take in the heady smell of the grains being cooked into the wort.  National Premium had 3 brand in order of quality, National Premium Beer, National Bohemian and Colt 45.

For anyone today Colt 45 is no stranger.  It's ubiquitous use in the rap industry has earned it a place on the "do not drink" list, which since it's malt liquor I wouldnt' touch it anyhow.  National Premium Beer dissapeared from the shelves after Carling bought them out in the 1980's.  As far as I know, Carling still makes Colt 45 but the rights and recipes for National Premium and National Bohemian were solt to Pabst in the early 2000's and Pabst has been making National Bohemian for the Baltimore, Maryland market ever since.

National Bohemian (known affectionately as Natty Boh to Baltomoreans) was really a working mans beer back when I was a kid.  We have pictures of my grandfather slipping me a sip of his Boh when I was 5 years old, used to drive mom crazy doing that but what fun.  The Boh made by Pabst is a shadowy ghost of what Boh used to taste like.  It's still cheap, but with that cheapness comes a distinct lack of taste.  I don't know if my taste memory is screwed up over the years or what happened but we lose so much in the haste towards progress.  Here in Jacksonville the local brand was always "Jax, The beer of friendship".  It's another that has been lost to time although I know a local consortium of microbreweries was trying to get the factory up and running again, only time will tell if they are successful.  As for National Premium, look for it's return soon in the Baltimore market as someone managed to get Pabst to give up the recipe and the rights.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ad: Listerine Tooth Powder


Suddenly now I understand, this is why kids fear to brush their teeth to this day.  Soap in the toothpaste!  But here we have Listerine selling us their revolutionary new soapless tooth powder.  "Omitting soap permits the use of cleansers 100% costlier... more effective."  Wait, what?  You know I think even the ad designer was having issues with trying to market this product.  Maybe he liked the soap in his tooth power, the world will never know.  At any rate you can only imagine how vile the stuff must have tasted.  I know when I was younger mom would make me brush with baking soda once a week.  I effing hated it and wanted to shove the toothbrush up somewhere unfriendly so I can only imagine how even this stuff must have tasted and it was soapless.

The ad further takes us down the merry path of of introducing a friendly new ingredient.  Dear God in heaven!  I've been waiting for this because I've been scared of those unfriendly ingredients for years.  So what is this ingredient you ask?  I'm going to guess Fluoride because the ad never tells us.  It's a trade secret and loose lips sink ships don't ya know?  They certainly packaged it into a bargain can, one that lasted the user for 3 whole months.  I don't know why they bothered so much, most people back then lost their teeth early.  Both my mom's parents had dentures by the time they were 19 and it wasn't from lack of brushing... or maybe it was who knows?


I still can't get over the whole soap thing in the tooth powder.  Maybe I should just wet my brush and give it a few swipes over the bar of lifebuoy before attending to the old choppers?  Of course I think Ralphie would have a few words to say to that... "Oh Fudge!"

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Recipe: Spry Spicy Apple Pie

Rustic Apple Pie

I've been fooling around with a vintage Apple Pie Recipe for a long time now and finally nailed it the other day.  This recipe is from the Spry Cookbook "What Shall We Cook Today?" although it has been modified slightly so that it will turn out better.  I don't know if apples are just different from what you used to be able to get (This is what dad tells me and he's 66), but I've never been able to make a proper apple pie from a vintage recipe.  They always come out runny and not cooked enough.  So here's the recipe:

Monday, October 24, 2011

New Format

I've given it a great deal of thought over the past week and decided on some changes to the blog, certain tweeks to make it more professional.  Starting the coming Saturday the changes will be:

A new weekly format for articles, I have shelving the Blogger's Helpdesk for right now because it just doesn't fit in with the theme of my blog.  Also I will no longer be participating in Sunday Stealing as meme's again are just not a good fit for the blog.  Wednesday however I will continue with last week's trial of Wordless Wednesday.  I can still fit it in with the food theme and it was a good hit with readers.

I apologize to all my Entrecard droppers if I'm not returning the favor as much as I was.  Entrecard has been having constant issues lately and I was getting sick of being frustrated.  I will try my best, within the limitations of time and availability, to return all cards dropped on me.  My blog is also now in the "History" section and is 3rd place, excellent!

Also you will notice at the bottom of posts I now have buttons for Twitter, Stumbleupon and Facebook.  I'll be adding others as well as I just didn't feel the buttons supplied by blogspot were making full use of the social media networks to promote my blog.  We're well on the way to 3,000 pageviews this month (October) which is spectacular for a blog that's only 2 months old.

Ad: Botot & Co.

1929 Botot

I usually shy away from collecting vintage French Ads because of this.  Nothing says WTF like a creepy pilgrim trying to sell you toothpaste and mouthwash.  It's hard enough to get kids to brush their teeth without scaring the hell out of them.  Since this ad is from the late 1920's and well after the ban on Absinthe production in France I can't blame over consumption of the liquor on the apparent psychotic episode that the artist was having when he drew this ad.  Even more surprising is that Botot approved the ad.  After looking at this ad I can see why the pilgrims were kicked out of Europe an came to America, they were seriously creepy.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sunday Stealing: The Questions Galore Meme Pt. 3


Today we ripped off a blogger named Jenni from the blog Juniper's Jungle. It's long, so we will do it in parts. She states that she found this meme Budgies blog. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Take the time to comment on other player's posts. It's a great way to make new friends! Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ad & Cocktail: Kinsey Gin & The Martini

1947 Kinsey Gin

This 1947 ad asks "Are you in the middle on the Martini question?"  It sounds like a political debate, between right and left.  Martinis were the drink of choice in the 40's and 50's and it was sometime in the 1960's when the move was on away from a gin base to a vodka martini, brought on no doubt by the popularity of Mr. James Bond.  This ad gives us 3 ways to make a martini:

Sherry Martini

1 Part Dry Sherry
3 Parts Gin

4-to-1 Martini

1 Part Dry Vermouth
4 Parts Gin


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ad: Quaker Puffed Cereals

1928 Quaker Puffed Cereals

Where do I begin with this ad?  In my searches around ebay and the internet I find gems such as these that just prove advertisers are insane.  We have an Alice in Wonderland theme but the premise of Alice in Wonderland must have changed since 1928.  Take the March Hare on the right, he's not just crazy, he's pissed!  I guess I would be too if I had to serve these rich little snot-rag brats their puffed rice and puffed wheat.  As a matter of fact Jr. on the left looks quite stuffed and puffed himself.  Notice how his head is tilted back, arms bracing himself on the chair?  Yes it's quite clear that another country is about to be heard from as Jr. lets off yet another stentorian belch after having consumed all the puffed grains the mad hatter could furnish him. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesday, Oct. 19th

What could be better than a fresh baked loaf of white bread?

Taking a Day Off

I've been busy with so much lately, especially in dealing with the last few things before my wife has her Visa Interview in Manila on the 3rd of November.  I've also been busy around the house cleaning and tending my vegetable garden, which I will write about on Saturday with pictures.  I've also been saving money through the use of coupons.  No this isn't extreme couponing, which is stupid in my opinion.  Why buy stuff that you're not going to use?  Just so you can have a garage full of more laundry detergent than you'll ever use in a lifetime?  I make my own laundry detergent for the cost of a couple dollars and an hour of my time.  In this sense I only cut coupons on stuff we use. Then it's a waiting game to see if the items go on sale before the coupon expires, which they usually do.  Last time I went to the store, dad and I bought $150 worth of groceries and only paid $66 saving $84 using coupons and sales combined.  This is actually more realistic than the show where you see them buy $1500 in stuff and get PAID $15 in the end.  Pleh, sorry, this doesn't happen in the real world only in the fantasy of TV.  However it is possible to save over 50% on your grocery bill through smart shopping and coupons.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ad: Grape Nuts

1911 Grape Nuts

 

The World Wants Brainy Men, so states the headline of this 1911 ad for Grape Nuts Cereal.  What exactly Grape Nuts has to do with brains I can't quite figure out but it probably comes down to fiber.  Back then, every ailment that plagued mankind could be cured with a good dose of fiber and a healthy bowel movement.  It really leads me to believe that people were quite constipated in the old days.  Advertisers spent an inordinate amount of time on various foods that would cure constipation.  I would chalk it up to a higher protein/fat diet coupled with a much higher daily sodium intake than we are used to today.  Since everything was preserved with salt it's conceivable that people used to ingest somewhere around 10g (10,000mg) a day, more than double the US RDA of Sodium today.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sunday Stealing: The Questions Galore Meme Pt.2


Today we ripped off a blogger named Jenni from the blog Juniper's Jungle. It's long, so we will do it in parts. She states that she found this meme Budgies blog. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Take the time to comment on other player's posts. It's a great way to make new friends! Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!

The Versatile Blogger Award







Tania B over at Canadian Horseshoes was kind enough to award me The Versatile Blogger Award.  Now how this works is I'm supposed to tell you 7 things about myself then pass the award on to 15 blogs I've newly discovered.  Here goes:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bellows & Co Ad

1939 Bellows & Co.



Bellows and Co. started importing Whiskey from Scotland in 1839 and this ad was produced in celebration of their 100th anniversary.  I actually grabbed it because I was toying with the idea of using the labels as a background for the blog or the header but I just couldn't get it to work right. So it got resigned to the folder to wait it's turn to be used as an article.  I keep a ready supply of these things on hand.  Actually when I last checked I have 117 vintage ads ready to be made into articles and I usually troll E-bay for more once a week.  Anyhow, I digress, on with the show.

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